Boston Bruins (38-16-9) at New York Islanders (37-20-7)
After getting smoked in the first game of this series the Islanders won Game 2, as the series shifts to the Big Apple.
Even on the road the Bruins are the betting favorite in Game 3 at -130 with the Bruins posted at +110 and a total of 5.5 goals.
With the 4-3 loss in Game 3 of this series it snapped Boston’s five-game winning streak. during the regular season the team ranked in the middle of the pack averaging 2.93 goals per game but they have totaled eight goals in the two games of this series and in the playoffs are averaging 3.4 goals per game.
The Islanders have won four of their last five games and scored a big upset in the first round beating the Pittsburgh Penguins, who had the most points in the East Division. The team ranked second in the league in goals against per game (2.23) but they have given up eight goals in the two games in this series.
Comeback Falls Short
In Game 2 of this series the Bruins lost to the Islanders 4-3 in OT where they scored two goals in the third period to force the extra period but could not complete the comeback. Charlie Coyle, Patrice Bergeron, and Brad Marchand all scored in the loss where Boston outshot New York 42-39.
Tuuka Rask (15-5-2 w.28 GAA regular season) allowed four goals on 39 shots in the Game 2 loss and he had only given up four goals in his previous three starts. he has a GAA of 2.06 in the playoffs and has started every game for Boston in the post-season.
David Pastrnak leads the Bruins in the post-season with five goals and 10 points and Marchand and Bergeron each have four goals apiece. Bergeron has three goals and two assists in the last three games. Pastrnak had a hat trick in the first game of this series and had scored five goals in three games before failing to score in the Game loss but he did have an assist.
Boston has won five of their last six playoff games as a favorite.
No Place Like Home
The Islanders were one of the best home teams in the NHL this season and they have won their last three home games facing the Bruins.
In the Game 2 win New York scored three unanswered goals after giving up the first one. Josh Bailey, Kyle Palmieri, and Jean-Gabriel Pageau all scored in regulation and Casey Cizikas played the hero scoring his first goal of the playoffs for the OT winner.
The Islanders have capitalized with the extra man, as three of their six goals in this series have come on the power play.
Semyon Varlamov 19-11-4 2.04 GAA regular season) stopped 39 of 42 shots in the Game 2 win after getting peppered for five goals on 27 shots in the 5-2 Game 1 loss. He ranked fourth in the regular season in GAA but only has a GAA of 3.14 in the post-season.
The Islanders are 1-2 with Varlamov in goal in the playoffs and are 4-1 with Ilya Sorokin in goal and he has a solid post-season GAA of 2.32.
Anthony Beauvillier and Pageau are tied for the team lead with nine points in the playoffs and Beauvillier, Bailey, and Palmieri all have four goals. Palmieri has two goals and an assist over his last three games and Beauvillier had lit the lamp in three straight games before failing to do so in the last game but did have an assist.
Not only have the Islanders won their last three home games against the Bruins but are 23-8 in their last 31 games on home ice and 4-1 in their last four home games as an underdog. I look for all of those trends to continue. I look for them to turn it back and play great defense in this game after allowing eight goals in the first two games of this series. Boston will struggle to score in this game and after two high scoring ones in this series I see a defensive battle in this one, which the Islanders will win.
PICK: Islanders +110